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In the heart of the Pinacoteca di Brera there is a special place, the Transparent Restoration Laboratory, designed in 2002 by Ettore Sottsass. The facility allows visitors to observe live the work of the restorers, usually reserved only for scholars and experts. The book, edited by Andrea Carini, restorer and head of the Pinacoteca di Brera's restoration laboratory, tells the story of a major restoration, that of the monumental altarpiece Virgin of the Assumption and Saints, painted by Fontana in 1570 for the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Bologna and finally brought to the Pinacoteca di Brera in 1991.
Since 2015, new equipment has been acquired for the workshop, which has been able to grow and give restorers more advanced technology to take care of masterpieces such as the one in question. One of the most influential Bolognese artists of his time, Prospero Fontana (1509-1597) went through all stages of the history of Mannerism during his long professional life. He was a close associate of Giorgio Vasari, a point of reference for the artists of his city and a leading figure on the national art scene. Starting in Bologna, he travelled extensively between Italy and France, returning to the city of Bologna bringing with him a wide and varied experience.